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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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against the Germans in September, 1939, he had finally been captured by
the Soviets and, as a prisoner-of-war had spent over twenty months in
their prisons, first in Lwow and subsequently in Moscow's notorious
prison, Lubianka. Upon receiving his appointment he was personally
released by Laurentia Beria, the all-powerful Commissar of Internal
Affairs, and although weakened by the hardships of Soviet prisons he
immediately took part in the negotiations with the Russian authorities.
The Szyszko-Bohusz Mission flew via Archangel to Moscow and was
received by Vyshinsky, Vice-Commissar for Foreign Affairs, who wel-
comed them with the words that,€C since the two Powers were now
beginning a new common life, all wrongs (i.e., all wrongs which the
Russians had inflicted on the Poles) must be forgotten."
The Polish representatives were soon to learn from their first conversa-
tions with the Russians that the Kremlin's object in allowing the creation
of a Polish Army was entirely different from the intentions of Poland in
this matter. In fact, the Russians made it obvious that they only desired
the formation of a small unit, Moscow had been somewhat embarrassed
by the fact that Hitler the c monster * and e cannibal,* had announced a
* crusade' in Europe against t the Asiatic barbarism/ and had collected
around him the troops of a dozen nations. It was to be expected that
although small in number, some of these troops would soon appear at
the front. German propaganda had given much information regarding
these Spaniards, Frenchmen, Italians, Hungarians, Rumanians,
Norwegians, Danes, Slovaks, Croats, Chorvats and Finns, a retinue of
many nationalities, which was soon to include Ukrainian and even
Russian anti-Bolshevik troops under General Vlasov—while the Soviet
Union," the country of the Internationale " stood alone on her battlefront.
The Soviets were more than anxious to have as soon as possible at
least one free nation in their ranks on the eastern front, for propaganda
purposes, and for this reason only they intended to exploit the desire
of the Poles to reconstruct their army on Russian soil. The liaison
officers between the Soviet Government and the Polish authorities
connected with the formation of these troops, were not the Army officials
but the Home Office (N.K.V.D.), who, in the Soviet system of Govern-
ment, represented above all else, the security of the state. Major
Zhukov of the Security troops was the head representative sent from the
N.K.V.D. while the chiefs of the Russian Army played a secondary role,
limited to the execution of the orders received from the Home Office.
During the first conversation with the Polish Military Mission, the Chief
of the General Staff, Marshal Shaposhnikov, made it clear, that it was
useless to ee draw up plans for the development of an army on a large
scale." It was better to form one small division of 8-10,000 men as
•soon as possible. That was all the Red Army expected from the Poles,